Brisbane Renovation Architecture (Built 2018)
Woolloongabba homeowners, Kelly and Anthony, wanted a 4-bedroom inner-city family home on a very tight budget to limit debt. They needed a spacious open indoor-outdoor living area, their own room and plenty of storage for their young family. They wanted to live in the house during construction and were prepared to lend a hand.
Their tiny Woolloongabba workers cottage with built in verandahs was on a small lot, with very close neighbours and a sewer line across the middle of the property. The existing floor was below river flood level, and the backyard regularly flooded in heavy rain from the creek behind. Any new construction had to be 500mm higher than existing. On the plus side, it was in a quiet location, backing on to a creek, park and community garden.
New construction is much cheaper than renovation, so we built a compact two-storey pod on stilts at the back of the cottage, meaning cars can park underneath. We created a greater sense of space by opening to the light, with privacy from the neighbours. The old and new buildings are separated (to allow light into the gap between) but linked by a family entry and steps. We kept a sightline through front to back, to create a sense of space. The original stove recess was altered to allow indirect light, but not look at the neighbours. The upper bedroom has northern light and southern views, and the space under the stairs doubles as a pantry. We used the fastest, off-the-shelf construction techniques to save money.
Anthony and Kelly organised the painting, kitchen, and tiling themselves. When the pod was finished, they moved in, while the builders rebuilt the bathroom and laundry. Using our connections, the project came in on time and budget.
If you enjoyed this project, check out this Wooloowin project.
Client & Partner Testimonials
Our experience with Placemate Architects was outstanding. They did three
things we appreciated, and nothing we didn’t.
They focused on understanding our needs and what we wanted.
They, Jan specifically, consistently generated creative design options to
assist in the extraordinary number of decisions that need to be made from
the very big to the very small.
And they matched us with exactly the right builder, the excellent Harris
Our decision to work with Placemate Architects meant we got what we wanted,
on time and on budget.
Jan, you did a fantastic job translating our unformed ideas into a classy home, fulfilling all our requirements. We are most impressed that you were able to design such a unique and spacious home on a small block and yet one that blends in with the ambience of the suburb without being ostentatious. Your choice of building materials was inspired and the design incorporating the high ceiling in the living/dining/kitchen area impresses everyone who sees it. We also appreciated your no-nonsense, straightforward, approach to the whole project. Congratulations on a great jobLola & Ian Binch Owners
PlaceMate made my house into a home – my home. It’s the little things about this space that make it mine. From the display cabinet in main entrance to the pink hatch I requested in the bathroom, this space has been transformed to suit my needs. The team came up with suggestions that they presented in a way that was easy to visualise. The process was quick, the communication was clear, and their imagination was invaluable.Alaska Montford Owner
Best use of a steep site
PlaceMate topped the state for best use of a sloping site over $250000 at the Queensland Master Builders Association Housing & Construction Awards. The award was for the design of two contemporary townhouses built on a 500sqm site that dropped 10m from a busy road. All the bedrooms and living areas captured picturesque city views.
Best renovation $250-$500,000
PlaceMate took home the prize at the Queensland Master Builders Association Housing & Construction Awards for the best renovation between $250,000 – $500,000. The winning renovation was a 1910 cast concrete Californian bungalow-style home in Indooroopilly. The design added a new wing and unified alterations undertaken in 50s, 70s and 80s.
Recognised in The Courier-Mail
PlaceMate’s skills were recognised in The Courier-Mail for our transformation of a Shorncliffe residence originally built around 1910.
Registered with Board of Architects Queensland
Registration Number 2457
Our Client Success Team
Placemate Architects works with successful and innovative clients. Together we achieve significant and lasting transformations of cities, houses and landscapes.